Lead

Lead was once widely used in products like paint, pipes, solder and other plumbing and construction materials. Lead is highly toxic to the human body and can damage the brain, nervous system and kidneys. Poisoning can occur gradually, and there are often no obvious symptoms.

Even at very low levels, lead can cause learning and behavior problems in children. There is no known “safe” level of lead and given its ability to produce permanent, irreversible effects in children, its presence should be taken very seriously.

Schools should check their buildings for lead in paint, in drinking water and in soil.

Resources

Reducing Lead in Drinking Water: A Manual for Minnesota’s Schools (pdf, 16pgs)This manual was designed to assist Minnesota’s schools in minimizing the consumption of lead in drinking water by students and staff. It offers step-by-step instructions for testing and reducing lead in drinking water. It includes a discussion of legal background and requirements, testing for lead in school drinking water, flushing taps, testing taps, flushing and retesting, other corrective actions, and reassessment.

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Lead in Drinking Water This US EPA website will provide you with information about the sources of lead in drinking water, guidance materials to assist with testing for lead in drinking water, and information on the laws and regulations concerning lead in drinking water.

3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools: Revised Technical GuidanceU.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Washington, DC , Dec 2005 – Report NO: EPA 816-B-05-008

Lead Safety in SchoolsNational Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities Resource List – NCEF’s resource list of links, books, and journal articles on lead hazards in paint, soil, and water; managing lead in schools; and lead safety and school modernization.

Working in a Lead-Safe School – This is a 28-page booklet used in a training program for California elementary school maintenance workers. It describes the hazards that lead presents for both workers and school children, and explains safe work practices. Both English and Spanish versions of the booklet are available in print and online.

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